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Aggression, contrary to appearances, is quite a complex problem - aggressive behavior is different in children and in adults. You can come across aggression in basically any environment - at home, at work, but also while shopping or on vacation. Check what are the types of aggression and what are their differences, and find out if it is possible to treat aggressive behavior.


  1. Aggression: definition
  2. Aggression: types
  3. Aggression in a relationship
  4. Aggression at work
  5. Aggression: treatment
  6. Aggression: where to find help?

Aggression: definition

Aggression- this term is derived from the Latin word "aggresio", understood as "attack" or "assault". There are many different definitions ofaggression , but it can generally be described as various types of behavior, which - when manifested by one person - are supposed to cause psychological or physical harm to another person.

Many different researchers have been interested, and essentially still are, interested in the causes of aggression. Nowadays, we can say so much - there are many theories about where aggressive behavior comes from. In the past - at the dawn of human history - aggression could allow, for example, to gain leadership in a group or better food.

The manifestation of aggressive behaviors in those times could be explained in some way. Currently, however, they are already extremely socially unacceptable and that is why so many scientists are looking for the factors that lead to them.

The possible causes of aggression are taken into account, among others, factors such as various mental disorders, but also somatic diseases. It is also noted that various harmful environmental factors may constitute the basis for aggressive behavior. However, it is also possible that we have a certain susceptibility to aggression simply encoded in our genes.

Aggression: types

Probably the types of aggression are known much more than the causes of aggression. The basic division is distinguished by:

  • physical aggression (e.g. hitting someone) and
  • verbal aggression (involving, for example, directing some insults towards another person).

Aggressive behavior can also be divided in terms of several othersaspects. There is an internal aggression (self-aggression), where a person, for example, causes some damage to himself, as well as external aggression, i.e. directed towards others.

In turn other types of aggression can be specified in terms of the goal that it is supposed to exert. Here you can mention hostile aggression, whose task is to cause pain or hurt someone, as well as instrumental aggression, the purpose of which is, for example, to remove the opponent, get rid of the competition (as an example, you can give a foul in some sports games).

Passive aggression

One of the more interesting types of aggressive behavior is passive aggression. People who use it are sometimes described as passive-aggressive or passive-aggressive.

Probably most of us have come across a situation when he was standing in front of us, looking like a completely relaxed, smiling person, and at that time we were simply irritated, angry or vice versa - depression and sadness.

Passive aggression - because it can be related to the above-described situation - is even called the sophisticated art of abuse. People who use it often use sarcasm and make comments that are unkind to others.

At the same time, they usually do it in a camouflaged manner - as an example you can give the following statement: "you have a beautiful shirt, really wonderful material, but the cut is such that you look extremely fat in it".

Other examples of passive aggression include deliberately arriving late to appointments, being cold (while reassuring that everything is okay), or making late or erroneous requests to the passive aggressor. Passive aggression can be encountered in many places - e.g. at school or at work - but it makes emotional relations especially difficult, which will be described later.

Aggression in a relationship

You can encounter aggression everywhere, but one of the most serious problems is when it occurs between people who are closest to each other. Aggression in a relationship is a problem of considerable degree.

The partner can use both physical and verbal aggression. However, the course of these emotional relationships in which one of the parties displays passive-aggressive behavior is especially difficult. In the latter case, the aggressor derives satisfaction from his behavior, and at the same time - usually being aware of it - he hurts the other person.

This kind of aggression is not always immediately apparent: the partner may end up acting coldly or ignoring the other person's needs and desires without explanation. However, when passive-aggressive behavior occurs in a relationship, thenone thing can be said almost with certainty: the course of this relationship will not be easy.

One aspect is obvious here - you definitely cannot agree to aggressive behavior in a relationship. Feelings by feelings, although when we become victims of aggression and a request for it to disappear from the relationship - or even persuading us to take advantage of some therapy - do not work, most likely it is unfortunately impossible for the successful course of such a relationship.

Aggression at work

The phenomenon of mobbing is related to aggressive behavior in the professional environment. Anyone can be an aggressor at work - a co-worker from the same room, a person competing with us in a similar position or even our supervisor. Aggression at work rarely takes the form of physical aggression - you can come across verbal or passive aggression much more often there.

Worth knowing

Aggression in children versus aggression in adults

Aggressive behavior can be manifested by people of any age, however, childhood aggression is different from that in adults. The main difference in this case is basically why people of all ages are aggressive.

In the course of life, the pattern of aggressive behavior typically changes. In children, instrumental aggression usually prevails, i.e. socially unacceptable behavior that aims to achieve a certain goal.

However, with the next years of life and acquiring knowledge about the functioning of the society, this type of aggressive behavior is gradually displaced and if an adult displays aggressive behavior, they more often belong to the hostile aggression group.

Aggression: treatment

Sometimes aggressive behavior occurs in people closest to us - partner, children or other family members. Can such people be helped somehow? Of course, it all depends on what is the probable cause of the aggressive behavior.

If they were caused by some somatic disease - e.g. hormonal disorders - normalizing them may result in reducing the frequency of aggression attacks. In a situation where aggression is associated with some mental disorders, starting therapy - be it pharmacological or working with a therapist - can also normalize the patient's mental state.

In some cases, however, the aggressor does not struggle either with mental disorders or with any somatic disease. Such people can also benefit from the help of specialists - they want to fight aggressive behavior, they can be recommended simply to go to a psychologist.


Aggression: where to find help?

Aggression - in any form - simply hurts its victims in an extraordinary way. One thing is undeniable - no one can be allowed to behave. In a situation where we feel that we will not cope with the aggression of a loved one - we will not persuade them to consult a psychologist or see no chance to change their behavior - it is worth contacting one of the specialist centers that help victims of aggression.

There are many possibilities, you can, for example, call the Blue Line, you can go to the Crisis Intervention Center (their list is available, among others, at So you can get help in various places, but the most important thing is to reach for it at all.

Men more often than women have a problem with aggression. However, there are also more women at therapies

- Contrary to appearances, participants of aggression replacement classes are not only men, women constitute approx. 30-40 percent. participants - says trainer Marta Hendzel. Their smaller number may result from the fact that women hide their anger more often, do not express it with aggression, but rather with shouting.


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